Between 2400, H110 and Blue Dot...


July 17, 2007, 12:01 PM
Which, if any, is appreciably "cleaner" in the context of .41 or .44 magnum loaded near or at recommended maximums?

I've noticed H-110 in my stainless .357 will gunge up the front of the cylnder to where I have to unlimber the Scotchbrite. Not a big deal, but I notice it doesn't happen with factory loads and I'm curious if I can avoid the issue on the blued 57s and fru-fru Anaconda (fru-fru = factory high polish).

If not, I'll get over it - I don't believe in safe queens anyway.

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July 17, 2007, 01:10 PM
Blue Dot is one of my favorite powders in several different rounds, but it's dirtier than H110 and 2400. Amoung those 3 I'd say 2400 is probably the cleanest.

July 17, 2007, 01:19 PM
At .357, .41 & .44 pressures, Blue Dot burns clean. You will not get top velocities with it. For that you need H110, W296, AA# 9. etc.

Steve C
July 17, 2007, 03:54 PM
For full power magnum loads I use Blue Dot for .357 mag with jacketed bullets under 158gr and the others with bullets 158gr or heavier. Hard cast 158gr SWC's driven to full mag velocities I usually use 2400 or AA#9.

In the .41 mag I've had better velocities with 2400 than H110 but H110 gives a lower ST Dev between rounds I've chrono'd.

Most of the time I prefer to shoot medium velocity loads around 1,000 fps +/- 100 fps for which I use faster powders, mainly W231 or Unique.

Don't own a .44 mag so I can't comment.

Unless you are shooting Win Clean ammo I've always had carbon to take off the front of the cylinders of my stainless pistols after shooting, be it factory or hand loads. Most of the slow burning powders leave a few "kernels" of spent powder but I wouldn't say any are read dirty. In my experience, Blue Dot is very clean at full power magnum loads but is quite dirty at low pressure when used in the .38 spl or .45 acp.

July 18, 2007, 08:41 PM
It also depends on which pressure rating you load to. If you load to the original pressure spec in older manuals ( and a few new ones that go up to 40,000 CUP in pressure ), Blue Dot is not only cleaner, it will achieve higher velocities when you need them for hunting loads in .357. No powder in current use has ever recorded higher .357 velocity when the pressure rating was 46,000 CUP Max.

I wouldn't even bother with 2400 until you're loading the .44 Magnum, and then H110 and 296 are very hard to beat. The best powder I know of for all 3 magnums is AA#9. Consider the case volume of the 3 cartridges. I am a firm believer that the requirements for .44 are different than .357 or .41 Magnum. AA#9 is the best powder I've used in .41 magnum and it will get you higher velocity in .357 magnum than anything I'm aware of unless you actually believe Hornady's velocity ratings, I don't and neither does my chronograph. I started handloading with the .41 Magnum/ Hercules Blue Dot and nothing worked better until I went to AA#9.

It is best to get a specific powder for each cartridge IMO, and bullet weight should be considered as well, but if you want to load all three with a single powder, don't go with one that is best suited to only one cartridge. #9 is a very good .44 Magnum powder, but in .357 and .41 magnum it excels. 2400 like H110/296 will work best in .44 Magnum, but they are bettered in the .357 and .41 Mag by slightly faster burners. The problem with #9 is that some claim that it is a surplus powder, and the advice to work up your loads from minimum with each lot of powder should be heeded. I can't honestly say one way or the other, but I do know that #9's bulk density has varied over the years. Because of that, I plan to start working with Ramshot Enforcer that is as close as it gets with outstanding performance potential. ;)

First Shirt
July 18, 2007, 09:01 PM
I've always had good results with 2400 in a .41 Mag, but it is a pretty "dirty" powder. I'm currently using H110 in .45 Colt loads, with the 300 gr. cast bullet, and it gives me excellent accuracy and penetration on wild hogs, but it's also kinda "dirty". (Not as bad, I don't believe, as 2400 in the .41, though.) Having limited access to a chronograph, I don't have a real good idea of velocity or SD, but my loads with those powders seem to deliver the goods. Having said that, Blue Dot, and AA#9, are not powders that I have a lot of experience with. (Although I have tried Blue Dot in some .45 ACP loads, and it's okay, but Unique is a better powder for that application.

JMO, YMMV, other caveats as required.


July 18, 2007, 09:09 PM
Welcome, First Shirt! Blue Dot is not well suited to low pressure loads, and I have used it in .45 ACP as well. Mainly for kicks (literally) and because I'm very fond of that powder. You're right: Unique is a better choice for that application. Application is always the key!;)

Gila Jorge
July 18, 2007, 09:46 PM
Unique and 2400 are my standbys for revolver usage....TiteGroup for 45acp
and also for 45LC cowboy loads....

July 21, 2007, 06:18 AM
I used to load a 44mag with a 'dirty' powder that would leave granules in the barrel if the pressures were not high enough. My gun burned much cleaner than some others (very clean, in fact), the difference being, I suspect, my gun's much heavier hammer blow (going by the primer indent comparison). The same powder did the same thing in a 357mag. A carbine burned clean while a revolver did not (if the pressures were too low). That powder was MP300 - very similar to IMR4227. The carbine was very accurate with that powder and cast bullets.

July 21, 2007, 07:03 PM
I guess I am going to be odd man out. I like 2400 in the 44 Mag, 357. Yes I have H110, AA#9, Blue Dot, and probably some other magnum powders that I cannot remember. I find the stuff and say "when did I get this?".

So why 2400? It is more flexible than the other stuff. You cannot down load H110/W296. It is either pedal to the metal or you don't use it. Well in my old age, I found that I dislike huge muzzle blasts and killer recoil. You get that way. You get grumpy too.

AA#9 can be downloaded, though AA says you can't, but it still has one heck of a big muzzle blast, and at 3/4 loads, the residue is like pepper grains. Does not work on salads though.

Blue Dot has given me bullet leading at velocities where I don't get leading with 2400 or AA#9. Leaves tablespoons of unburnt powder in the non magnums. Gets between the extractor star, jams up the pistol, and takes a toothbrush to get it out. Tried it in 9mm, 38 Special, 357, 44 Spl, 44 Mag, 45ACP, 45 LC. In my experience, its been a bad experience. I don't care what the rest of the world thinks about Blue Dot. I don't like Blue Dot. Period. End of story.

The worst part is I have a lot of these magnum powders, and I mostly enjoy shooting pop guns now. You know, the non magnum stuff like 38 Special, 44 Spl, 45 LC, and 45ACP. You get that way. You get grumpy too.

July 28, 2007, 12:45 AM

You may be able to use up some of your rogue magnum powders by using heavier bullets. Just a thought.

I began down-loading a long time ago. That's a nice thing about a 44 mag. You can choose any recoil level you like. Somewhere in the middle will be good.


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